Chapter 1 - The Kinds of Monastics - Part 3

There are clearly four kinds of monastics. - RB1:1

The third kind of monastic Benedict mentions in the Rule is the sarabaite. Although the original meaning of the word cannot be determined it is defined as a Coptic term signifying "separated from monasteries."

Benedict tells us that the sarabaites have not been "tried as gold in the furnace" (Prv. 27:21). They differ from the cenobites because they lack leadership and do not live a common life. Because they live alone sarabaites resemble anchorites but they differ greatly in that they lack formation and therefore seem to live an independent life and do whatever they wish.